Czech artist David Cerny's new sculpture floats on the Vltava River in Prague on the day of its debut. (Image Source: Reuters)
This weekend, the Czech Republic will be having polls for its parliament. In anticipation of the polls, Czech artist David Cerny unveiled a new sculpture, as seen above, on the Vltava River in Prague. The "gesture" faces Prague Castle, the Czech White House, making it look like an attack on Czech President Milos Zeman, who is not in the country at the time. The artist claims that the artwork "speaks for itself." But the effort seems more spite towards President Zeman than actual protest however: Based on current polls, President Zeman's party the Social Democrats will win the most seats in parliament.
David Cerny's work has made him a somewhat prominent figure in Prague and the Czech Republic. His first work was remaking a Soviet tank pink, and has made baby sculptures crawl around Prague's primary TV tower. Cerny, however, leaves his politics on his sleeve: The artist has been heavily critical of the Social Democrats, descendants of the Communist regime that ran Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, since the fall of the Iron Curtain. In the presidential elections from early 2013, Cerny heavily campaigned for Zeman's opponent, former royalty Karel Schwarzenberg. Fittingly, the sculpture's color is purple, which matches the color associated with Schwarzenberg's party, TOP 09.
However, Cerny's artwork comes off as too little, too late, and may even be a form of spite. According to current polls, the Social Democrats will likely take the most seats in the Czech Parliament, and will even get a boost in the number of seats. Meanwhile, Cerny's favorite party, TOP 09, is likely to lose several seats, losing out to new party Action Dissatisfied Citizens, made up of people who are, like Cerny, unhappy with the current system of Czech government.
Cerny, when asked about the political situation in the Czech Republic, said that "The political system here is not good, most people know that. I think I'd be happy to live in New York and not come back. I mean, I would come back, maybe for like three months in the year or something." Given his attitude and the message of this sculpture, that seems like a good idea.